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Genesis 41

41
The Dreams of Pharaoh
1After two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing beside the Nile, 2when seven cows, sleek and well-fed, came up from the river and began to graze among the reeds. 3After them, seven other cows, sickly and thin, came up from the Nile and stood beside the well-fed cows on the bank of the river. 4And the cows that were sickly and thin devoured the seven sleek, well-fed cows.
Then Pharaoh woke up, 5but he fell back asleep and dreamed a second time: Seven heads of grain, plump and ripe, came up on one stalk. 6After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted, thin and scorched by the east wind. 7And the thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven plump, ripe ones. Then Pharaoh awoke and realized it was a dream.
8In the morning his spirit was troubled, so he summoned all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.
9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I recall my failures. 10Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he put me and the chief baker in the custody of the captain of the guard. 11One night both the chief baker and I had dreams, and each dream had its own meaning. 12Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams and he interpreted them for us individually. 13And it happened to us just as he had interpreted: I was restored to my position, and the other man was hanged.”
Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams
14So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, who was quickly brought out of the dungeon. After he had shaved and changed his clothes, he went in before Pharaoh.
15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
16“I myself cannot do it,” Joseph replied, “but God will give Pharaoh a sound answer.”
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18when seven cows, well-fed and sleek, came up from the river and began to graze among the reeds. 19After them, seven other cows—sickly, ugly, and thin—came up. I have never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt! 20Then the thin, ugly cows devoured the seven well-fed cows that were there first. 21When they had devoured them, however, no one could tell that they had done so; their appearance was as ugly as it had been before. Then I awoke.
22In my dream I also saw seven heads of grain, plump and ripe, growing on a single stalk. 23After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—withered, thin, and scorched by the east wind. 24And the thin heads of grain swallowed the seven plump ones.
I told this dream to the magicians, but no one could explain it to me.”
25At this, Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what He is about to do. 26The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven ripe heads of grain are seven years. The dreams have the same meaning. 27Moreover, the seven thin, ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind—they are seven years of famine.
28It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will devastate the land. 31The abundance in the land will not be remembered, since the famine that follows it will be so severe.
32Moreover, because the dream was given to Pharaoh in two versions, the matter has been decreed by God, and He will carry it out shortly.
33Now, therefore, Pharaoh should look for a discerning and wise man and set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh take action and appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest #41:34 See LXX; MT a fifth from the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35Under the authority of Pharaoh, let them collect all the excess food from these good years, that they may come and lay up the grain to be preserved as food in the cities. 36This food will be a reserve for the land during the seven years of famine to come upon the land of Egypt. Then the country will not perish in the famine.”
Joseph Given Charge of Egypt
37This proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his officials. 38So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, in whom the Spirit of God #41:38 Or the spirit of the gods abides?”
39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40You shall be in charge of my house, and all my people are to obey your commands. Only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”
41Pharaoh also told Joseph, “I hereby place you over all the land of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh removed the signet ring from his finger, put it on Joseph’s finger, clothed him in garments of fine linen, and placed a gold chain around his neck. 43He had Joseph ride in his second chariot, with men calling out before him, “Bow the knee!”#41:43 That is, “Abrek,” probably an Egyptian word that sounds similar to the Hebrew for kneel So he placed him over all the land of Egypt.
44And Pharaoh declared to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your permission, no one in all the land of Egypt shall lift his hand or foot.”
45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah,#41:45 Zaphenath-paneah probably means Revealer of Mysteries or God speaks and lives. and he gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On,#41:45 That is, Heliopolis, as in LXX; also in verse 50 to be his wife. And Joseph took charge of all the land of Egypt.
The Seven Years of Plenty
46Now Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout the land of Egypt.
47During the seven years of abundance, the land brought forth bountifully. 48During those seven years, Joseph collected all the excess food in the land of Egypt and stored it in the cities. In every city he laid up the food from the fields around it. 49So Joseph stored up grain in such abundance, like the sand of the sea, that he stopped keeping track of it; for it was beyond measure.
50Before the years of famine arrived, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh,#41:51 Manasseh sounds like the Hebrew for making to forget. saying, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s household.” 52And the second son he named Ephraim,#41:52 Ephraim sounds like the Hebrew for making fruitful or twice fruitful. saying, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
The Famine Begins
53When the seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. And although there was famine in every country, there was food throughout the land of Egypt. 55When extreme hunger came to all the land of Egypt and the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, he told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.”
56When the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened up all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians; for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57And every nation came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth.

Genesis 41

41
1 AFTER TWO full years, Pharaoh dreamed that he stood by the river [Nile].
2 And behold, there came up out of the river [Nile] seven well-favored cows, sleek and handsome and fat; and they grazed in the reed grass [in a marshy pasture].
3 And behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river [Nile], ill favored and gaunt and ugly, and stood by the fat cows on the bank of the river [Nile].
4 And the ill-favored, gaunt, and ugly cows ate up the seven well-favored and fat cows. Then Pharaoh awoke.
5 But he slept and dreamed the second time; and behold, seven ears of grain came out on one stalk, plump and good.
6 And behold, after them seven ears [of grain] sprouted, thin and blighted by the east wind.
7 And the seven thin ears [of grain] devoured the seven plump and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream.
8 So when morning came his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians and all the wise men of Egypt. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but not one could interpret them to [him].
9 Then the chief butler said to Pharaoh, I remember my faults today.
10 When Pharaoh was angry with his servants and put me in custody in the captain of the guard's house, both me and the chief baker,
11 We dreamed a dream in the same night, he and I; we dreamed each of us according to [the significance of] the interpretation of his dream.
12 And there was there with us a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard and chief executioner; and we told him our dreams, and he interpreted them to us, to each man according to the significance of his dream.
13 And as he interpreted to us, so it came to pass; I was restored to my office [as chief butler], and the baker was hanged.
14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon. But Joseph [first] shaved himself, changed his clothes, and made himself presentable; then he came into Pharaoh's presence.
15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it; and I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream and interpret it.
16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, It is not in me; God [not I] will give Pharaoh a [favorable] answer of peace.
17 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood on the bank of the river [Nile];
18 And behold, there came up out of the river [Nile] seven fat, sleek, and handsome cows, and they grazed in the reed grass [of a marshy pasture].
19 And behold, seven other cows came up after them, undernourished, gaunt, and ugly [just skin and bones; such emaciated animals] as I have never seen in all of Egypt.
20 And the lean and ill favored cows ate up the seven fat cows that had come first.
21 And when they had eaten them up, it could not be detected and known that they had eaten them, for they were still as thin and emaciated as at the beginning. Then I awoke. [But again I fell asleep and dreamed.]
22 And I saw in my dream, and behold, seven ears [of grain] growing on one stalk, plump and good.
23 And behold, seven [other] ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them.
24 And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears. Now I told this to the magicians, but there was no one who could tell me what it meant.
25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, The [two] dreams are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do.
26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears [of grain] are seven years; the [two] dreams are one [in their meaning].
27 And the seven thin and ill favored cows that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty ears [of grain], blighted and shriveled by the east wind; they are seven years of hunger and famine.
28 This is the message just as I have told Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do.
29 Take note! Seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt are coming.
30 Then there will come seven years of hunger and famine, and [there will be so much want that] all the great abundance of the previous years will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and hunger (destitution, starvation) will exhaust (consume, finish) the land.
31 And the plenty will become quite unknown in the land because of that following famine, for it will be very woefully severe.
32 That the dream was sent twice to Pharaoh and in two forms indicates that this thing which God will very soon bring to pass is fully prepared and established by God.
33 So now let Pharaoh seek out and provide a man discreet, understanding, proficient, and wise and set him over the land of Egypt [as governor].
34 Let Pharaoh do this; then let him select and appoint officers over the land, and take one-fifth [of the produce] of the [whole] land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years [year by year].
35 And let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and lay up grain under the direction and authority of Pharaoh, and let them retain food [in fortified granaries] in the cities.
36 And that food shall be put in store for the country against the seven years of hunger and famine that are to come upon the land of Egypt, so that the land may not be ruined and cut off by the famine.
37 And the plan seemed good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants.
38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, Can we find this man's equal, a man in whom is the spirit of God?
39 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Forasmuch as [your] God has shown you all this, there is nobody as intelligent and discreet and understanding and wise as you are.
40 You shall have charge over my house, and all my people shall be governed according to your word [with reverence, submission, and obedience]. Only in matters of the throne will I be greater than you are.
41 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.
42 And Pharaoh took off his [signet] ring from his hand and put it on Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in [official] vestments of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck;
43 He made him to ride in the second chariot which he had, and [officials] cried before him, Bow the knee! And he set him over all the land of Egypt.
44 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without you shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah and he gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph made an [inspection] tour of all the land of Egypt.
46 Joseph [who had been in Egypt thirteen years] was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went [about his duties] through all the land of Egypt.
47 In the seven abundant years the earth brought forth by handfuls [for each seed planted].
48 And he gathered up all the [surplus] food of the seven [good] years in the land of Egypt and stored up the food in the cities; he stored away in each city the food from the fields around it.
49 And Joseph gathered grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he stopped counting, for it could not be measured.
50 Now to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On, bore to him.
51 And Joseph called the firstborn Manasseh [making to forget], For God, said he, has made me forget all my toil and hardship and all my father's house.
52 And the second he called Ephraim [to be fruitful], For [he said] God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.
53 When the seven years of plenty were ended in the land of Egypt,
54 The seven years of scarcity and famine began to come, as Joseph had said they would; the famine was in all [the surrounding] lands, but in all of Egypt there was food.
55 But when all the land of Egypt was weakened with hunger, the people [there] cried to Pharaoh for food; and Pharaoh said to [them] all, Go to Joseph; what he says to you, do.
56 When the famine was over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians; for the famine grew extremely distressing in the land of Egypt.
57 And all countries came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all [the known] earth.